U.S. Grains Council promotes U.S. corn to key Korean buyers

Farm Forum

To help recapture U.S. market share in Korea that was lost last year due to the low supply of U.S. corn from the 2012 drought, the U.S. Grains Council escorted a group of key Korean corn buyers through the U.S. corn production process, starting with seed development and ending with corn export facilities. The Korean delegation saw first-hand the rebound in U.S. production and gained a better appreciation of the U.S. ability and commitment to meet customer requirements in regards to corn quality and volume following a year of drought. The group was very impressed with the advanced farming and crop practices that have assisted American farmers in making the 2013 corn crop bountiful.

When U.S. corn prices are competitive, the United States generally captures a majority of the Korean corn market. However in 2012, U.S. share in the Korean corn import market dropped to 35 percent compared with an average of 81 percent during the previous three years. This decrease in U.S. market share is attributed primarily to the 2012 drought which caused high U.S. corn prices. To regain the lost market share, the Council continues to promote the United States as the preferred, reliable, long-term supplier of quality feed grains to Korea.

Korea produces very small amounts of grains domestically, and has historically been the world’s second or third largest coarse grain import market. Corn has dominated in Korean grains import market, ranging from 65 to 85 percent of the total feed grains market. The rise of South American producers means that competition is here to stay, but with a good crop and a more normal pricing environment, the United States is in a position to rebound well in 2014.